While the majority of the workforce embraces ongoing advancements in technology, there is an area that raises some concern: automation. A recent PwC study estimates that 30% of jobs are at risk of automation by the mid-2030s, potentially creating a significant social divide within society. How do organisations harness the benefits of automation whilst making the UK a fairer society?
The answer is understanding how automation fits into the bigger landscape of an organisation’s strategy. Automation is not about replacing people: it’s about leveraging intelligent automations that work alongside people so that organisations can focus their resources and staff on high touch, high impact engagements. In short, automation serves as one of many tools to improve an organisations’ ability to execute.
Many public sector organisations are embracing automation to increase efficiency and productivity through digital transformation programmes. While automation contributes to realising value in these programmes, it can not deliver benefits single-handedly. Instead, it could result in partial automation for some roles, reducing their value and the required skill sets even further.
Transformation is about more than automation; it’s about transforming an organisation's processes so they can drive better outcomes. Many people make the mistake of starting with automation. But to be most successful, it is critical to have a deep understanding of how an organisation’s processes are actually running.
First, understand the operating model. In simple terms, pinpoint the execution gaps that are trapped inside the rigid and fragmented IT systems. Next, identify what the right course of action is to close those gaps. Then implement different tools, like automation, to increase efficiency, reduce rework, and promote productivity across the organisation.
Execution gaps are the symptoms of an organisation's systems’ execution constraints. They take the form of all-too-common errors, inefficiencies, and delays. Some are visible. Most are hidden. To eliminate execution gaps and maximize an organisation's execution capacity, people need a different kind of system. One that liberates their organisation from these artificial constraints.
The Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) is a new class of technology built to achieve execution capacity breakthroughs. The Celonis EMS connects with transactional systems in real-time and provides all the core capabilities that allow an organisation to manage execution capacity. Celonis applications and instruments leverage Process Mining technology to extract data in real-time from source systems and measure capacity. By harnessing the digital footprint of every step of the process, Celonis is able to fully understand how each transaction, case, enquiry, request, appraisal and application is processed and how long it takes.
This is invaluable data for any organisation wishing to transform to a more efficient operating model; however, it is only the start of the transformation journey. Having gained a complete and objective view of exactly how the organisation operates, Celonis can quantify the potential benefit realisation of moving to a future operating model. Based on machine learning and execution best-practices, Celonis Execution Applications know the best steps to take to eliminate the most impactful gaps. Then it can take action in a number of ways, both by automating real-time actions across systems, as well as deploying the right people to remove gaps.
Let’s hypothesise - at the start of a transformation journey, an organisation leveraged Celonis to understand exactly how their processes execute and have identified a number of execution gaps and the potential value realisation of closing these gaps. Now they have data-driven evidence for a business case. Celonis has highlighted that a significant amount of manual re-work is taking place in several processes and some of this is off-system, which causes delays for activities downstream.
Celonis has identified the amount of time the off-system work takes and highlights the impact of the manual re-work on the time to complete the process. Celonis will prioritise the activities that need to happen and in what order. Then, it will send signals to the users’ dashboards providing contextual based recommendations to close the execution gaps.
Celonis has taken the routine and repetitive tasks that were performed by users and automated them. This frees up time and resources for the workforce, so they can upskill - building on their existing talents, adding digital skills to become higher value to the organisation. As a major employer, the government can take a leading role in upskilling its workforce, helping retention by ensuring they are equipped for the digital economy.
PwC recently asked more than 22,000 people globally whether they would upskill to be more employable: 77% said they would. The Celonis EMS represents an excellent opportunity for government departments to lead the way in upskilling the workforce through identifying the optimal opportunities for automation in the transformation programmes - making work more human.
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